Inc. Magazine: Inside the Redesign

Inc. Magazine: Inside the Redesign
Increased commitment to photography: Check.
Attention to dynamic pacing: Check. 
Focus on typography and "visiting fonts"(!?!): Check and Check!

The new look of Inc. magazine, which is on sale now, is a surprising and dynamic rethink of the 30 year old title. It showcases some great design and lots of smart new approaches to visual storytelling. Creative Director Blake Taylor and his award winning art and photo teams had only 3 months to reinvent the entire magazine and with the help of ambitious editor Eric Schurenberg and SPD fave Tom Brown of TBAD (who we're more than thrilled to day is hard at work designing the PUB 48 annual for us!) they nailed it. 

Blake gives us a preview of Inc's extraordinary new look after the jump along with some revealing insight into their process and mission (think "magazines within magazines" and seriously what's up with these "visiting fonts"!?)

Blake Taylor:
Inc.'s mission for more than thirty years has been to inform and inspire. We 
feature stories about entrepreneurs--their all-consuming commitment to building companies and their (sometimes insane) embrace of risk. That single-minded drive makes for good story telling, and certainly demands a dynamic presentation. Toward that end, we felt it was time for a refresh.





We spent about three months on this overhaul, which made for a pretty tight timetable. The mission was to rethink the flow of the magazine, with the goal of making it more grazable and also giving it more punch. So we've greatly increased the amount of sidebars and infographics, and whenever possible we look for alternative ways to tell stories. (We also now jump the longer stories to keep the pace of each issue active.) We have also increased our commitment to photography. Ours is not a big staff, so our photo department certainly feels the shift. Lots more assigning, lots more color correcting.  




It's a thrilling project to redesign a magazine when you have a clear mandate, a reasonable budget, and good people to collaborate with. Inc.'s editor, Eric Schurenberg, is openminded and always looking to push things. As much as he wants Inc. to be useful (More take away! More tips!) he also understands the importantance of creating a rich visual environment. Given the mandate to explore, we felt a fresh set of eyes would be of great help. I reached out to Tom Brown at TBA+D to see if he might be available to help us rethink Inc., and much to our delight, he was.








BT: All the work was conducted long distance, between British Columbia and New York. I gave Tom the structure we had in mind--basically magazines within a magazine, no more FOB or feature well--and he started firing ideas at us. Along the way, Tom suggested the concept of introducing a new font for each issue, and we all agreed that would be fun. So now we have what we're calling "visiting fonts." Each month a new one appears in the basic navigation, as drop-caps and other single, often numeric hits. These offer interesting design challenges while adding one more variable that helps keep things visually surprising. Now it's up to us to keep building on this new platform.




Creative Director: Blake Taylor
Photography Director: Travis Ruse 
Art Director: Sarah Garcea
Art Director: Kristin Lenz
Freelance Art Director: Elaine Ahn
Deputy Photo Editor: Heidi Hoffman
Assistant Photo Editor: Kelly Kollar

Redesign Director: Tom Brown Art+Design

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